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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 19, 2014 - 9:05 am

Both chambers of Congress have introduced legislation to keep 2014 Olympic medalists and beyond from having to pay taxes on their newly acquired metals.

The Senate version, introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), is co-sponsored by Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chuck Shumer (D-N.Y.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).

It would amend Section 74 of the Internal Revenue Code to state that “gross income” for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes will not include the value of any medals or prize money they win while competing in the Olympics or Paralympics. Medalists would still have to pay taxes on any endorsement or sponsorship income.

“I congratulate all of our Olympic and Paralympic medalists who have dedicated their own time and money to compete on behalf of our nation,” said Isakson. “They should be welcomed as heroes, not handed a tax bill, when they return home from competition. This legislation is just the right thing to do.”

The House version was introduced by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

“It’s stupid to tax the medals our Olympic athletes won,” said co-sponsor Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). “They represent America as ambassadors as well as superior competitors in their sports. Medal winners in particular are a source of pride to us all. The last thing we should do as a government is send them a bill from the IRS when they return home.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
What is the intellectual argument behind giving a special tax break to Olympic athletes? They should be taxed just like everyone else (although I’d prefer if everyone were simply taxed less).

Consider, if an American wins a poker championship in Macau, no one would make the argument that he deserves a tax break. Why is a poker championship in Macau less worthy than winning a gold medal in slalom? Because a bunch of pandering senators decreed it so?

Aren't we conservatives supposed to be against using the tax codes to selectively reward or punish specific groups based upon arbitrary parameters (i.e., Senators Shumer and Rubio heart the Olympics)?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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I'll support this just as soon as it's coupled with a bill exempting all military service members from income tax. Yes, including their retirements.

Until then, stop tweaking and playing with this stupid, immoral, and destructive income tax.

It needs to be killed, not massaged.

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is the intellectual argument behind giving a special tax break to Olympic athletes? They should be taxed just like everyone else (although I’d prefer if everyone were simply taxed less).

Consider, if an American wins a poker championship in Macau, no one would make the argument that he deserves a tax break. Why is a poker championship in Macau less worthy than winning a gold medal in slalom? Because a bunch of pandering senators decreed it so?

Aren't we conservatives supposed to be against using the tax codes to selectively reward or punish specific groups based upon arbitrary parameters (i.e., Senators Shumer and Rubio heart the Olympics)?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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